A Stellar Flare of Young Adult Writing and Visual Art
BY AARON ZHAO
Immigrant. The word lingered in Matthew’s mind as he kicked a tuft of grass on the wet field, strolling in solitude. His classmates laughed at him from afar with contempt, pointing fingers and shooting the cruelest words at him. During PE class, basketballs were thrown towards him like ballistic missiles, disguised as passes. They treated him as an inferior, an animal of a lower trophic level. His accent was mocked with scorn and his physique was caricatured on white boards and sticky notes. To them, he was a lost puppy wandering in a foreign land and they found satisfaction in kicking
him. To them, he was a Martian who crash-landed among human beings, clueless of the society surrounding him. To them, he was different and that was what instigated hostility. But they got it all wrong. Matthew knew that they had mischaracterized the word. Immigrants transform a grayscale country into a multi-colored nation. They are the different paints on a palette. They are the varicolored feathers of a scarlet macaw. They carry culture and tradition with them on the plane from everywhere on the map. They are the definition of diversity. Without them, a country remains naive of the wonderfully tantalizing world that engulfs their nation. Matthew looked up at the gang of boys and smiled. He didn’t wear the word as an ugly hat. He wore it as a crown.
Aaron Zhao is an avid writer from BC, Canada, who hopes his work can inspire others. He also has a science/politics website dedicated to spreading knowledge to other teens (genznews.org). His favourite color is aquamarine.